Saturday, March 07, 2009

Saturday morning notes: PM on a snowmobile edition

1. Does this remind you of anyone...
"Later, the prime minister arrived by snowmobile for a photo op on the Trans Canada Trail in Wilmot."

Chronicle Herald staff

Anyone at all?

AP

"Tories fiddle while the economy burns," anyone?

OK, enough fun with the pictures...:) A little more seriously...

Best moment, to me, in the Harper question session yesterday as he announced repair moneys for Highway 101 in Nova Scotia was in response to a question on whether we would be appointing our own envoy on Afghanistan. Harper first said he got a kick out of the opposition pointing out the Americans did it, the British did it, why aren't we doing it...then he said, to conclude, "In Canada, we always make our own foreign policies." Yep. After watching the Harper government mirror the Bush administration in so many ways, with their Afghanistan stewardship (in tone, secrecy, on detainees) and in holding back environmental progress internationally as the Bush administration's best friend, to pick just two areas, that statement was an absurd bit of spin coming from him. I think he found it funny too, perhaps that he can get away with saying such things, as the giant grin that appeared seemed to suggest that he knew how ironic it was for him to say it. Either that or he had been coached into trying to be sweater vest Steve yesterday and that's what it looks like. Just once I would like to hear an audience member laugh when he says something of this variety. But the audience for this announcement/press conference appeared to be quite friendly, judging by the applause that rang out a few times as he answered, similar to he set up in B.C. when he made the criminal penalties for gangs announcement.

Also notable, two of the questions were about the funding announcement being in respect of Hwy 101 and not 103 which is reportedly more dangerous and in need of urgent action given the questions ("Highway 101 was once known as Nova Scotia's deadliest highway. Recently, that moniker has gone to Highway 103 along the south shore, where 10 people died last year."). His answers to both of those questions I found interesting to watch as well, to see how empathetic he was.

Finally on this event, this lighthearted moment was quite funny too.

And in two non-snowmobile related items today that are worth a look...

2. "The political lessons of Lester Pearson." A hopeful and insightful op-ed providing a history lesson on the Pearson years. A reminder to keep present goings on in our minority government federal politics in perspective.

3. There is a good essay follow-up on the gang violence in B.C. and what needs to be done: emphasis on prevention and better enforcement, not symbolic sentencing provisions on the books in criminal statutes.